The government has released a new action plan, pledging to improve the lives of LGBT people.
The 75-point action plan aims to tackle discrimination and improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the UK.
The Action Plan is a direct result of a national survey of LGBT people, the largest ever undertaken. The survey, which had over 108,000 respondents, shows LGBT people are experiencing prejudice on a daily basis.
More than two in three of those who participated in the survey said they avoid holding hands with a same-sex partner in public for fear of a negative reaction, while 23 per cent said people at work had reacted negatively to them being LGBT. Over half of those who accessed or tried to access mental health services said they had to wait too long.
The action plan will include a £4.5 million fund to address inequality and support the deliver of actions in the plan in areas including health, education, personal safety and the workplace.
As part of the plan, the government has announced that it will eradicate the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy, as the survey showed two per cent of respondents had undergone the therapy, while a further five per cent had been offered it.
The government has also stated that it will appoint a national LGBT health adviser, as one in five trans respondents said that their specific needs had been ignored or not taken into account.
The government will also work with the police to improve the response to LGBT hate incidents, as two in five respondents had experienced them, with more that nine in ten of the most serious incidents going unreported.
Speaking about the plan, Prime Minister Theresa May said, “We can be proud that the UK is a world leader in advancing LGBT rights, but the overwhelming response to our survey has shone a light on the many areas where we can improve the lives of LGBT people.”
“I was struck by just how many respondents said they cannot be open about their sexual orientation or avoid holding hands with their partner in public for fear of a negative reaction.”
“No one should ever have to hide who they are or who they love.”
“This LGBT action plan will set out concrete steps to deliver real and lasting change across society, from health and education to tackling discrimination and addressing the burning injustices that LGBT people face.”
Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women and Equalities, added, “Everyone in this country should feel safe and happy to be who they are, and to love who they love, without judgement or fear.”
“I am incredibly proud of the UK’s global leadership on LGBT equality and the fact that this is the largest survey of its kind, but many of the results are very disturbing.”
“It’s unacceptable that people feel they cannot hold hands with their partner in public, and that they are unable to walk down the street without fear of abuse.”
“It is also deeply worrying that LGBT people experience difficulty accessing public services such as healthcare, and that so many are being offered the abhorrent practise of conversion therapy.”
“This Government has done much to promote a diverse, tolerant society and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people – but it is clear we have more to do.”
“Our Action Plan is a step toward everyone – regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics – being able to live safe, happy and healthy lives where they can be themselves without fear of discrimination.”
“It will mark a culture change to allow LGBT people to feel respected at every level of society.”